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Which artist are looking forward to seeing the most at the 2007 Downtown Hoedown?
11% Darryl Worley
15% Tracy Lawrence
41% Josh Gracin
33% Little Big Town
This poll is now closed.

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::: THE WORLD'S LARGEST FREE COUNTRY CONCERT :::

* 2007 Hoedown News *

HOEDOWN COVERAGE PRESENTED BY:

"THE HOEDOWN UPDATES!!! I am super excited for this year's hoedown and even have my sister recruited to come with me!" -Jill Duslak [ Martin, OH ]

CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Heartland'

By Kristen Sherer
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

 

 

With the out-of-the-box success of their debut single, "I Loved Her First," Heartland seems to be one of those overnight success stories. But it's not that simple. In reality the band worked for years to develop the song and stagecraft that brought them to the attention of veteran Music Row executive Mike Borchetta, who signed Heartland to his Lofton Creek Records label. And with that leadoff song already established as a bona-fide wedding standard, these guys are off to a great start.

The members of Heartland - guitarists Craig Anderson and Mike Myerson, bassist Keith West, lead singer Jason Albert, fiddler Chuck Crawford and drummer Todd Anderson - are Alabama-based in more ways than one, having been strongly influenced from day one by a certain superstar Country band from their home state. Back in1997 the band got their first shot at stardom performing at the June Jam, Alabama's annual concert event in Fort Payne, Ala. For Heartland, playing the June Jam was a defining moment.

Lately, Heartland has been busy on the road in support of their debut album, I Loved Her First, which was produced by "I Loved Her First" co-writer Walt Aldridge and released in October.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

Who is your musical hero?
ALBERT: "Sam Cooke."
WEST: "Elvis."

What CD is on your stereo?
ALBERT: "Los Lonely Boys."
MYERSON: "Conway Twitty."
WEST: "Merle Haggard."

What song do you wish you had written?
ANDERSON: "'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.'"

Do you prefer planes, trains or automobiles?
WEST: "Fast cars."

Which song would you like to cover?
Band: "'Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution' by AC/DC."

What song do you sing in the shower?
ANDERSON: "'Dirt,' by Motley Crue."
MYERSON: "'Fruit Salad,' by The Wiggles."

On the Web: www.heartlandcountry.cc

 

CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Jason Michael Carroll'

By Peter Cronin and Kristen Sherer
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

 

 


Jason Michael Carroll is a 28-year-old North Carolinian who's not afraid to dream big. As a preacher's son, Carroll grew up not being allowed to listen to "secular" music, but like any resourceful young man, he eventually found his dream emanating from the radio.

Carroll became obsessed with Country Music and quickly got his first break, winning a local radio station's karaoke contest. As a result of that triumph, he was asked to join a local band. His appearance on "Gimme the Mic," an "American Idol"-style show for local FOX television affiliates, led Carroll to a national competition in New York City where he caught the attention of manager Rusty Harmon, who had helped Hootie & the Blowfish to multi-Platinum success. A subsequent meeting with producer Don Gehman (John Mellencamp, REM) led Carroll to a deal with Arista Nashville.

Things started falling into place when he was given the opportunity to write with Jewel, a singer/songwriter he had long admired. They collaborated (with Shaye Smith) on the ballad "No Good in Goodbye," which they recorded as a duet on Carroll's Gehman-produced debut album Waitin' in the Country, released Feb. 6. An unflinching look at the life and death of an abused child, first single "Alyssa Lies" is one of five songs written or co-written by Carroll on the album, and is quickly climbing the charts. The single has already set multiple records, and it's massive airplay success has now made Carroll the first new male Country artist in two and a half years to take a debut single into the Country airplay Top 5.

PHOTO BY DAVID JOHNSON

Arista Nashville recording artist Jason Michael Carroll.

 

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Who is your musical hero?

"Garth Brooks, George Strait, Steven Tyler. Do I have to pick one?"

What book is on your nightstand?

"Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith."

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?

"The day I left North Carolina and moved to Texas. That was my last day with both of my grandparents."

What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?

"I can sleep when I'm dead."

Do you have a lucky charm?

"I have four of them: My kids, Gavin Michael, Savanna Nicole, Stori Paige and J.W. They're all the luck I'll ever need."

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

"Don't Try This at Home: The Jason Michael Carroll Story."

On the Web: www.myspace.com/jasonmichaelcarroll

 

CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Chris Young'

By Peter Cronin
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service

 

 


Chris Young came to national attention the new-fashioned way, by winning the fourth season of the audience-voted reality TV show "Nashville Star" which aired on USA Network. But when it comes to his music, this Murfreesboro, Tenn., native is all about deep Country tradition. With a list of influences that includes Marty Robbins, Randy Travis, Keith Whitley and Hank Williams, Young is dedicated to putting a new twist on old Country and with his self-titled RCA Records debut, he's off to an auspicious start.

The album, which was produced by Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire), was released on Sept. 26. The album's leadoff single, "Drinkin' Me Lonely," which the singer performed on "Nashville Star," is already familiar to legions of fans of the show and is currently climbing the Country charts. Young co-wrote the song with Larry Wayne Clark, and he's also listed as co-writer on four of the album's 11 cuts.

Young entered showbiz as a 9-year-old when they needed one more kid to sing and dance in his hometown's Fourth of July celebration. After that first taste, he was off and running, joining school and church choirs and auditioning for the GRAMMY Choir, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and grabbing every other opportunity he could get his hands on. With his grandfather providing the classic Country album collection and the guitar lessons, Young studied the masters and began perfecting his vocal and performing style.

During a backstage vocal warm-up at his recent Grand Ole Opry debut, Young and his grandfather performed a duet version of Marty Robbins' "Begging to You," the first song his grandfather taught him to play on guitar. After a rousing performance at the 2006 CMA Music Festival, Young spent the summer on the road with the "Nashville Star" tour.

PHOTO BY RUSS HARRINGTON

RCA recording artist Chris Young.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Who is your musical hero?
"Keith Whitley. He was one of those people who had a timeless voice and presence. He continues to inspire people, including me, with his music."

Which song would you secretly like to cover?
"'I Can Tell by the Way You Dance' by Vern Gosdin."

What CD is on your stereo?
"Daryle Singletary's That's Why I Sing This Way."

What song do you wish you had written?
"'That's My Job,' the Conway Twitty classic because it never fails to give me goose bumps."

On the Web: www.chrisyoungcountry.com

 

CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'The Wreckers'

By Peter Cronin
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service

 

 


With her background as a successful pop solo artist, Michelle Branch likens her participation in the new duo, The Wreckers, to a "chance to start over at a new school." Sure enough, although their unique vocal chemistry may occasionally bring to mind some classic duos, The Wreckers (consisting of Branch and musical partner Jessica Harp) serve up a brand of Country Music that is anything but old school.

Stand Still, Look Pretty, their Maverick Records / Warner Bros. Records Nashville debut, released on May 23, is an intriguing blend of singer-songwriter sensibilities and heartfelt Country roots, all served up with a 21st century sonic wallop.

For Branch and Harp, who were both working on successful pop careers when they met, the evolution of The Wreckers was as organic as the music on their debut. With friends constantly telling them that one reminded them of the other, the two artists began their collaboration by e-mail, eventually bonding over their favorite indie releases. They finally met face-to-face in a Kansas City airport terminal, and Harp was soon on the road singing background vocals in Branch's band. When post-show jam sessions started gelling into Country-inflected songs, the duo knew they were onto something, and Branch suddenly saw the answer to the nagging question, "What's next?"

Heading to New York, The Wreckers hooked up with producer John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, Patty Larkin), who had worked with Branch on her last release, Hotel Paper, recording the bulk of what would become Stand Still, Look Pretty. Los Angeles producer John Shanks (Sheryl Crow, Pink) and Nashville hitmaker Paul Worley (Big & Rich, Martina McBride) also helped to flesh out The Wreckers' sound. Although Branch and Harp contributed 10 of their own songs to their debut, the album's leadoff single, "Leave the Pieces," was written by Nashville tunesmiths Jennifer Hanson and Billy Austin.

PHOTO BY NICK SPANOS

Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp are 'The Wreckers.'

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

Which song would you secretly like to cover?

HARP: "There is a song that I love to cover and do often, so it's not really a secret, and that is 'Angel from Montgomery,' written by John Prine and performed by Bonnie Raitt. It's a beautiful song that I have loved since I was a kid when my Dad played it for me. It was one of Michelle's favorites as well. Maybe another reason we were destined to end up together!"
What song do you wish you had written?

BRANCH: "Joan Osborne's 'What if God was One of Us.'"

Who is your dream duet partner?

BRANCH: "Jessica Harp!"

HARP: "Besides Michelle, my dream duet partner would probably be Wynonna Judd. I have loved that woman and her voice for as long as I can remember, and she has definitely influenced me in many ways. Although if that ever really got to happen, I'd probably end up being to nervous to speak, let alone sing!

What CD is on your stereo?

HARP: "My favorite record at the moment is Miranda Lambert's. I love her voice, and her songwriting reminds me of the way I write. She's just a fabulous artist."

BRANCH: "Dwight Yoakam's, Blame It on the Vain."
What do you sing in the shower?

HARP: "I don't sing in the shower. I guess I figure because I sing pretty much the rest of the time, I should concentrate on getting my hair washed and my legs shaved when I'm in the shower!"

What book is on your nightstand?

BRANCH: "Babies - A Week By Week Guide."

On the Web: www.thewreckers.com

Win an autographed copy of Memarie's new CD single "Cry Like Memphis" courtesy of Cupit Records

Louisiana born and bred, Memarie (pronounced Memory) is the epitome of Southern charm and grace – yet don’t be fooled. The new Cupit recording artist can definitely rock with the best of them and proves it with the single "Cry Like Memphis." Memarie proves she’s as sassy as she is sweet.

Win a copy of Gary Allan's "Greatest Hits" album plus a Gary Allan plastic shotglass, courtesy of MCA Nashville Records

AmericaJR.com has teamed up with MCA Nashville Records to give away Gary Allan's "Greatest Hits" album along with a plastic shotglass. The album includes the hits "A Feelin' Like That," "Smoke Rings in the Dark," "Man to Man," "Tough Little Boys" and "Nothin' On But The Radio." A total of 15 songs are on the disc.

Win an AmericaJR.com T-Shirt Autographed By Your Favorite 2007 Downtown Hoedown Artists

AmericaJR.com offers the BEST Coverage of the 25th Annual Downtown Hoedown and now we are proud to offer you this exclusive contest. One lucky winner will receive this t-shirt which includes our logo and autographs by artists such as Danielle Peck, Dusty Drake, Carolina Rain, Memarie and local artist Devin Scillian.

Win a copy of Hoedown Artist Emerson Drive's new album "Countrified" courtesy of Midas Records

Most recently, Emerson Drive released their brand new album, "Countrified," containing the current single, "A Good Man." "Moments" was first released in the United States and later in Canada. "Countrified Soul" was was the number 1 video on CMT's "Chevy Top 20 Countdown."

Win a copy of "Last of the Breed" featuring music by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price, courtesy of Lost Highway Records

"Last of the Breed" is the perfect prize for the classic country music lover. The two-disc album features the hit song "I'll Keep On Loving You" plus special guests Kris Kristofferson and Vince Gill. There are a total of 22 songs on the album with over an hour of continuous music.

"I love that you update the schedule for the Downtown Hoedown before the radio station. I always check here everyday to see who has been added to the list of performers." -Nicole Lowe [ Howell, MI ]

* Win a Free AmericaJR T-Shirt and Wear it to the Hoedown *

 

 

Return to the Downtown Hoedown section.

Detroit's Downtown Hoedown is known as the World's Largest Free Country Concert. The event is held each year at Hart Plaza along Detroit's Beautiful Riverfront bordering Windsor, Ontario. It is a three-day event featuring music, dancing and fun for all ages. The music portion is filled with local bands, newcomers and established artists.

 

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY